Free iPad App Runs Windows, MS Office, Adobe Flash

Dennis Faas's picture

A new app for Apple's iPad will allow users to run Windows applications, including Microsoft Office.

The Windows applications are available via OnLive, an online digital media distribution service. The Windows environment and applications don't run on the user's own iPad; instead, they are available through streaming services from OnLive's cloud computing platform, which is a form of centralized computing.

Though the iPad user doesn't have a physical keyboard and mouse, they are able to use genuine Windows 7 controls specially designed by Microsoft for tablet computers accessing the Windows OS (operating system).

Free, Paid Windows Experiences Available On iPad

The app runs on a "freemium" (free / premium) basis, allowing users to use MS Office and store up to 2GB of documents online at no charge. They also get access to a web browser that can display Adobe Flash content, which is otherwise blocked on the iPad due to a strict policy by Apple not to allow Flash. (Source:

Eventually, there will be a separate premium option (reportedly to be priced at $9.99/month) that will give the user access to additional Windows programs, and will allow them to store up to 50GB of data each month.

OnLive is also working on a business package that will add even more software and will allow Information Technology (IT) managers to set up user collaboration on documents and also control employee access. (Source:

iPad Windows System Based On Gaming

The new Windows tool for the iPad stems from OnLive's main line of products: video games.

OnLive's primary audience includes gamers looking to play big-name console and PC titles on a tablet computer. The games run on OnLive's own servers, which means that the reduced processing power of tablet computers doesn't hamper the game's speed and graphics power.

In theory, all that's needed is a fast enough Internet connection so the user's table can receive the proper displays, and also send the user's commands back to OnLive's gaming systems.

In the past, these kinds of tools for remotely accessing a computer have been subject to glitches that could cause frustrating delays, freezes and blocky graphics. OnLive believes that its systems, originally designed to carry powerful games without interruption, should provide an extremely smooth Windows experience.

Initially, the Windows service will be available only on the iPad. However, the company plans to extend the same capabilities to Android devices, smartphones, computers and even home consoles.

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